Devin Townsend Project

Live at The Novo

Los Angeles, CA

October 6th, 2016

Review and photos by Travis Baumann

Devin Townsend is a multi-talented artist that has had his hands all over the music industry over the years but his current project is aptly named Devin Townsend Project and features his brilliant song writing and voice in a Symphonic Metal package that has heavy hands in Progressive and Experimental Metal.

Devin can be super comedic and silly or he can be ultra serious and sing about extremely esoteric concepts. His previous album "Z2" was a space-rock opera in a sense and falls on the more light-hearted comedic side (that being said, these stories are parables for our lives and there are things to be gleaned out of the songs).

His latest album, "Transcendence" is the opposite in that it covers some really "heavy" subjects in a grand, majestic way and is an amazing record that I have been listening to over and over again.

Devin and company came out and started the set with an upbeat song, "Night". A few beats into the song Devin stops it cold.  He goes up to the mic and says, "They say you are never supposed to break the fourth wall but I figure just get it out of the way right at the beginning and show that we are all human", and then they restarted the song. Devin's sound is huge, full of atmosphere and power, really great in a live setting.

Devin joked about having a cold and only being able to pull off one voice that sounded like a goblin or troll but in all honesty he did really sound good. His vocals run the gamut from snarled and guttural to soaring and almost operatic.

They did "By Your Command" next which went over big with the audience. They played "Failure" off the new album which I loved live. Overall the new album is my favorite thing he has ever done but I really have enjoyed every release so that is saying something.

Doing a track off the previous "Z2" album we got "Rejoice" and keeping in that vein of sci-fi-esque themes, "Hyperdrive".

Devin announced that they were doing "Stormbending" from the new album next which was one of the highlights of the set for me, it was amazing.

In between songs Devin commented, "You guys will circle-pit to anything. Hey corpse paint guy, try it to this one". They did "Where We Belong" next which is a much slower song but not slow enough to stop them, they were still going in circles albeit, not at the break-neck speed they were on some of the other songs.

He did another couple off of the previous record with "Ziltoid Goes Home" followed by "March of the Poozers" which was another big hit with the audience (to be fair, they all were, but this one got some heavy duty cheers).

They played "Kingdom" followed by "Ih-Ah!" before coming to the finale of the night and my absolute favorite song of said performance, "Higher" from "Transcendence". It is such a great song, quite lengthy as it changes and mutates, practically three songs in one that comes back full circle for the end choir.

It was a great show and Devin troopered through his cold with a smile on his face and made all of us really happy. I felt bad for him for being under the weather but he didn't let it stop him from putting on a amazing performance.

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